Second-site suppression of a nonfunctional mutation within the Leishmania donovani inosine-guanosine transporter

Shirin Arastu-Kapur, Cassandra S. Arendt, Tina Purnat, Nicola S. Carter, Buddy Ullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


LdNT2 is a member of the equilibrative nucleoside transporter family, which possesses several conserved residues located mainly within transmembrane domains. One of these residues, Asp389 within LdNT2, was shown previously to be critical for transporter function without affecting ligand affinity or plasma membrane targeting. To further delineate the role of Asp 389 in LdNT2 function, second-site suppressors of the ldnt2-D389N null mutation were selected in yeast deficient in purine nucleoside transport and incapable of purine biosynthesis. A library of random mutants within the ldnt2-D389N background was screened in yeast for restoration of growth on inosine. Twelve different clones were obtained, each containing secondary mutations enabling inosine transport. One mutation, N175I, occurred in four clones and conferred augmented inosine transport capability compared with LdNT2 in yeast. N175I was subsequently introduced into an ldnt2-D389N construct tagged with green fluorescent protein and transfected into a Δldnt1/Δldnt2 Leishmania donovani knockout. GFP-N175I/D389N significantly suppressed the D389N phenotype and targeted properly to the plasma membrane and flagellum. Most interestingly, N175I increased the inosine Km by 10-fold within the D389N background relative to wild type GFP-LdNT2. Additional substitutions introduced at Asn175 established that only large, nonpolar amino acids suppressed the D389N phenotype, indicating that suppression by Asn 175 has a specific size and charge requirement. Because multiple suppressor mutations alleviate the constraint imparted by the D389N mutation, these data suggest that Asp389 is a conformationally sensitive residue. To impart spatial information to the clustering of second-site mutations, a three-dimensional model was constructed based upon members of the major facilitator superfamily using threading analysis. The model indicates that Asn175 and Asp389 lie in close proximity and that the second-site suppressor mutations cluster to one region of the transporter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2213-2219
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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